California legislation that will ban grade school textbooks and teachers from including any instruction that "reflects or promotes bias against" homosexuality, transgenders, bisexuals or those with perceived gender issues will take effect next month and opponents are circulating referendum petitions to place the measure before voters.
SB-777 was introduced to the House on May 24 was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Oct. 14. The bill will affect textbooks and instructional materials for students in kindergarten and grades 1-12 and will change the typical concept of family, conservative groups argue.
"This reverse discrimination is an outright attack on the religious and moral beliefs of California citizens," says Karen England, executive director of the pro-family group Capitol Resource Institute (CRI).
According to CRI's new affiliated organization, Capitol Resource Family Impact (CRFI), the traditional family that only features a mom and dad would be "promoting a discriminatory bias" against homosexual couples under SB-777. It would promote "heterosexism" to only show male and female couples without equal time for homosexual, transsexual and transgender "families," CRFI adds
The conservative group argues, however, that the bill may open up doors to "shocking" policies such as those that have already been implemented in Los Angeles Unified School District regarding transgender students. According to the school district's web site, if a male perceives himself as a female, he must be granted access to female locker rooms and restrooms. Furthermore, if the student wishes to keep his sexual status from his parents, the teachers and administration must refer to the masculine pronoun (him/he) when talking to the parents and use the feminine pronoun (she/her) at school.
"This shocking policy treats parents as the enemy of the transgender student," CRFI states. "Teachers are expected to abet the student in keeping vital information from parents."
With SB-777 slated to take affect in January 2008, opponents of the bill are circulating referendum petitions to be signed and requesting the participation of churches. The "Save Our Kids" campaign, which is a project of CRFI, is collecting roughly half a million valid signatures of voters to qualify the referendum for the ballot in June 2008.